Paving your professional career path starts with committing to the right major in college. Naturally, it makes perfect sense to pick something that matches your preferences and fulfills your needs. However, considering your personality trait in the process is important, too, especially if you are an introvert who finds enjoyment in being alone most of the time.
In this post, we will talk about some of the best majors for introverted students. I will discuss, too, the fact that your unique qualities should not keep you from landing your dream job and attaining success.
But before that, let’s answer a few pressing questions…
Introverts vs. Extroverts: What’s the Difference?
As far as personality types go, introverts and extroverts are polar opposites. Introverted people prefer having alone time or being in small social settings. On the other hand, extroverted individuals favor socialization and collaboration. It’s possible for a person to have qualities from both introversion and extroversion.
Before anything else, let’s make one thing clear: neither extroversion nor introversion is better than the other. Each one has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, and some people are better off being one or the other or a combination.
Most people think that extroverts loathe socializing, which is far from the truth.
It’s just that individuals with extroverted personalities would much rather spend most of their waking hours alone.
It’s by basking in solitude that they are able to take their time when thinking about ideas or making decisions and use their creativity, analytical thinking and observational skills.
So, in other words, they are isolated by choice and not by circumstance.
There’s no denying that they don’t like large crowds. However, they have no problems with small social settings, especially if the individuals around are someone they know.
Some of the strengths of extroverted people include:
- Good listeners
- Less impulsive
Extroverts, on the other hand, fancy just about everything that introverts dislike. For one, they thrive by being with people. It’s also not uncommon for them to think out loud, expressing their thoughts as they think about them.
While social events can be draining to introverts, they can be recharging and refreshing to extroverts.
It doesn’t mean, however, that extroverts do not value being alone — it’s just that they need very little of it and feel so much better in the company of other people.
Let’s compare introverts and extroverts using various data points:
|Communication||Think things through before communicating||Communicate things as they think about it|
|Word use||Concrete and detailed||Abstract and less detailed|
|Energy||Being alone is recharging||Being alone is draining|
|Focus||More on the mind and inner activities||More on social interaction and the external world|
|Risky behavior||Engage in low-risk activities and behaviors||Willing to take risks each time|
Because each one has a different set of strengths, introverts and extroverts can take advantage of what they have in pursuing professional careers that suit their personality traits to a T and thus make them more likely to reap success.
Is Being Shy and Being Introverted the Same?
Although they may look the same, being shy and being an introvert are different things. Shyness is an emotion, while introversion is a personality trait. It’s true that some introverted individuals are shy, but not all shy people are introverts. Introverts prefer being alone and quiet, while those who are shy fear negative judgment.
It’s not uncommon for a lot of people to think that all introverts are shy and even antisocial.
However, that’s far from being the case. Introverted individuals tend to be reserved because they favor environments that are quiet and minimally stimulating. Meanwhile, shy ones usually feel insecure and nervous when with others.
Do you want to be alone because being in the company of others, especially strangers, leaves you drained and exhausted plus you believe it’s better for you to work alone?
Then you are probably an introvert.
Do you feel self-conscious, nervous, breathless and shaky when you are surrounded by people?
Then chances are you are a shy person.
Being shy can limit opportunities. And while it’s not a mental health condition, it can cause anxiety and depression. It’s due to this why talking with a therapist is usually a good idea to overcome shyness.
On the web, there are tons of tutorials on how shy individuals can become more confident and outgoing.
You may also get your hands on self-help books on Amazon, like Overcome Social Anxiety and Shyness by Dr. Matt Lewis, a psychologist, and The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook by a couple of department of psychology professors and chairs.
Are There Successful Introverted CEOs?
Introverted individuals possess certain qualities essential for attaining success in an assortment of fields and industries. As a result of this, there are plenty of successful introverts. Some of them are the founders and/or CEOs of some of today’s most popular social media platforms and the largest tech companies worldwide.
Believe it or not, a study reveals that around 70% of all CEOs are self-confessed introverts!
As such, you should refrain from assuming that your introverted personality will keep you from being rich and powerful, so go ahead and go to college and major in something that can pave the way for the career path you are envisioning.
Your chances of being successful despite being an introvert are high because of certain traits that are unique to you and other introverted individuals — they are the very same qualities that made it possible for many of today’s most profitable entrepreneurs, bosses and leaders to have the kind of success they are enjoying right now.
Here are some of the top reasons why:
- They listen. Introverts may not talk that much, but they sure listen a lot. Listening is one of the most important skills leaders possess because it fosters trust and loyalty.
- They think carefully. It’s true that introverted people need a lot of time to come up with decisions. However, in terms of running a company, this is a quality that can prove to be advantageous.
- They are self-aware. Because introverts care about how others perceive them, they tend to do anything and everything necessary in order to be treated with admiration and respect.
- They have creativity. Introverts are very good at using their imagination, which is why most of them are creative. Coming up with new solutions and strategies requires out-of-the-box thinking.
- They communicate well. As mentioned earlier, introverted people tend to think things through. This allows them to prepare very well for public engagements, thus wowing everyone.
To prove that introversion should not get in the way of one’s dream attainment, here’s a list of some of the most successful business leaders with introverted personalities:
- Bill Gates – Co-founder of Microsoft
- Elon Musk – Founder, CEO and chief engineer of SpaceX and CEO of Twitter
- Larry Page – Co-founder of Google
- Mark Zuckerberg – Co-founder of Facebook and Meta, its parent company
- Marissa Mayer – Former president and CEO of Yahoo!
- Warren Buffett – Current chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
- Wendy Kopp – Co-founder and CEO of Teach for All
12 Best College Majors for Introverts
And now we have come to the crux of this post: the best majors for introverted college students.
In coming up with the list below, this post takes into account some of the most important factors degree-seekers — introverts and extroverts and even those who are somewhere in between — consider when planning their professional career path.
Needless to say, median salary and projected job growth are some of the most crucial.
Because the spotlight is on introverted individuals, of course, the personality trait is factored into the selection process — it’s not just success while in the workforce that matters but also success throughout one’s college years.
So, without further ado, here are 12 majors worth declaring if you are an introvert:
- Median salary: $77,250 per year
- Projected job growth: 6%
Having strong analytical and problem-solving skills is important for anyone to succeed as an accounting student and a professional accountant.
Introverted individuals have an edge over those with other personality types in that they possess some of the most important qualities necessary for accounting majors to do well:
- Attention to detail
- Critical thinking
- Organizational skills
It’s important to note that accountants also need to possess good time management skills.
Unfortunately, introverted people tend to take a longer time to process information than extroverted ones as they need a while to completely understand something before moving to the next idea.
Making sure that you stay on time and beat deadlines can help you reap success while working on your bachelor’s degree in accounting as well as while being a part of the workforce as an accountant.
- Median salary: $80,180 per year
- Projected job growth: 3%
It’s true that architects usually have to meet with clients and other architects and the rest of the team, particularly if involved in a large project.
However, most of the time, they are alone. No matter if developing reports and drawings at their office desks or driving to sites and clients, it’s not unlikely for architects to be without any companion.
Whether still an architect major or already a full-fledged architect, one has to be able to combine research, design and engineering in a single package to get good grades or make clients happy.
Due to the fact that introverted individuals have a strong ability to focus and concentrate as well as use their imagination to work out a problem or come up with ideas, it’s no wonder that they may find it easy to thrive as architect majors and professionals, although they will have to put up with collaborating with people from time to time.
- Median salary: $65,000 per year
- Projected job growth: 1%
Introverted individuals who are not very good at collaborating with a large group of people but possess the skills necessary to work in a hard science field may find majoring in biology a fitting choice.
While it’s true that working with some people, whether in the classroom or professional setting, is a part of the life of being a college student or a professional, is inevitable from time to time — it’s not unlikely for the biology major to spend a great deal of his or her time alone in a laboratory setting, which is great for anyone who identifies with introversion.
The following skills help an introvert majoring in biology succeed academically and, ultimately, professionally:
- Analytical thinking
- Attention to detail
- Organizational skills
- Median salary: $79,760 per year
- Projected job growth: 6%
Like biology, chemistry is also an excellent major for introverted degree-seeking students.
The vast majority of chemistry majors (in particular when taking core courses) and chemists in a variety of industry settings often find themselves working independently in labs — focusing and concentrating are critical when dealing with all sorts of chemicals, which is why those who are sharing the same lab tend to leave one another alone.
In order to succeed, as students and as working professionals alike, superb analytical thinking and complex problem-solving skills are crucial to have, which are traits most introverts possess and can use to their utmost advantage each time.
Having sufficient knowledge of chemistry, including the safe use and disposal of chemicals, of course, is also important.
- Median salary: $109,020 per year
- Projected job growth: 25%
Introverts and people who have exceptional skills in using computers share something in common: they’re both stereotyped as nerds. And that is why when the subject matter is the best college major for introverted individuals, computer science is very much likely to pop out of a lot of mouths.
Needless to say, computer science majors usually spend most of their waking hours in front of a computer working alone — programming, after all, is a solitary work that requires a lot of concentration and attention to detail.
Other than the said skills, many other traits inherent to introverted individuals are vital for the success of students who are working on a bachelor’s degree in computer science as well as professionals across an assortment of computer science-related fields, ranging from web development to software architecture.
They include analytical and problem-solving skills.
Read Also: Is Computer Engineering a Good Degree?
- Median salary: $105,630 per year
- Projected job growth: 6%
Actuary, data analyst, financial consultant, financial risk analyst, financial consultant, investment analyst — these are just some of the career options available for individuals with an undergraduate degree in economics.
No matter the professional path an introverted economics major wishes to take, one thing remains true: his or her various qualities associated with being an introvert can come in handy.
From researching trends, preparing reports to studying the production and distribution of goods, having the following skills are important:
- Analytical thinking
- Attention to detail
- Logical and reasoning skills
- Writing skills
Because of the type of tasks that economics majors have to carry out over and over again, whether as college students or as members of the workforce, spending a lot of time alone and having some peace and quiet are essential.
Read Also: 12 Perfect Minors for Economics Major
- Median salary: $95,300 per year
- Projected job growth: 2%
There are many different types of engineering, ranging anywhere from petroleum engineering and nuclear engineering to environmental engineering to agricultural engineering.
However, none is as popular as mechanical engineering — around 40,000 to 60,000 bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering are conferred each year.
Especially when those upper division courses make their presence known, the curriculum of engineering students can vary widely, depending on the chosen major.
But the experience of each one is practically the same. The qualities necessary for students to do well are similar, too.
Since engineering is in the STEM field, which requires sharp analytical, precision and problem-solving skills, it’s no wonder why introverted individuals may find majoring in it suitable for their unique needs and preferences.
- Median salary: 95,570 per year
- Projected job growth: $9%
Many people believe that accounting and finance are the same — they’re not!
Accounting is a more specialized area of business, which focuses on the day-to-day flow of money in and out of an entity.
Finance, on the other hand, is more about planning for future growth. It zooms in on fields that are heavily driven by economic principles and practices, including credit, debt, banking and capital market activities.
Some of the traits introverted people have that make finance a suitable major for them include self-motivation, analytical thinking and problem-solving. Having basic math skills, of course, is a must for anyone who is considering majoring in it.
An undergraduate degree in finance allows the holder to have jobs ranging from data analyst to tax associate.
- Median salary: $50,710 per year
- Projected job growth: 3%
According to studies conducted by psychologists, most creative individuals are introverted. Needless to say, it makes perfect sense for introverts with artistic abilities to consider majoring in fine arts.
One of the nicest things about a fine arts degree is that it’s the key to a host of careers, including:
- Art director
- Art gallery manager
- Fashion designer
- Graphic designer
- Industrial designer
- Production designer
- Video game designer
- Web developer
Practically every quality a person needs to create eye-catching masterpieces can be associated with introversion, including being self-aware, reflective and observant.
And as fine arts majors, their ability to listen and analyze well lets them examine and understand various pieces of art and learn about their history, too.
- Median salary: $48,370 per year
- Projected job growth: -9%
When journalism is mentioned, a lot of people immediately think of news reporting and interviewing, both of which are not the best career choices for introverted individuals.
Still, journalism makes for a wonderful major for them because it opens doors to a number of professional jobs that they may thrive in trouble-free.
Editing and copywriting, for instance, do not require journalism majors to interact with all sorts of people.
Public relations and social media specialists may have the word “public” and “social media” in their job titles alright.
However, in most instances, journalism graduates have to deal with only a small number of people and spend most of their day coming up with plans and strategies to maintain the good image or boost the brand awareness of their clients.
The natural ability of introverts to make observations and analysis of trends as well as think of tactics creatively and imaginatively makes them suitable for penetrating the many industries a journalism degree unlocks.
- Median salary: $133,380 per year
- Projected job growth: 10%
At first, it may seem like marketing is a major that’s accidentally included in this post. However, there are many qualities introverts have that can make them successful in the marketing arena.
Figuring out how to effectively sell a product or service is one of the most important tasks of marketing majors.
Since it’s normal for introverts to be observant and critical thinkers, coming up with the best possible marketing strategies can be a breeze.
However, from time to time, they also have to work with others, which is why having good communication and teamwork skills is important, too. But if they’re willing to develop those, introverts can reach new heights in the marketing realm.
- Median salary: $81,040 per year
- Projected job growth: 6%
Listening, problem-solving, analytical thinking, patience — these are some of the skills psychologists need to have to become effective counselors and psychotherapists.
Since the said important qualities are also often found among introverts, it’s no wonder, though a bit surprising, that psychology makes for an excellent academic major for them.
There’s no need for introverted individuals to fear facing clients. That’s because consultations usually happen in one-on-one sessions, which can be intimate and thus fend off any feelings of intimidation.
Other than providing counseling or psychotherapy, other career paths for psychology majors include:
- Corrections officer
- Human resource officer
- Market researcher
- Occupational analyst
- Polygraph examiner
- Psychiatric technician
- Social worker
Just Before an Introvert Like You Pick a Major
Introverted people are known to take their time when making decisions, especially big ones. Needless to say, it’s for certain you will think things through when determining which of the above-mentioned majors suited for introverts you should shortlist.
But that’s alright because, whether introverted or otherwise, your college and professional career success lies in your choice.
Read Next: Top Careers for Antisocial People
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.